By Zack Cimini
Every year in a fantasy football draft some idiot decides to take a kicker too early in the eleventh or twelfth round. I only can laugh because with that pick I?m adding quality depth at wide receiver or running back. It has always been a rule of mine to pick a kicker with my last pick. The reason why is because kickers are more over rated than Ron Dayne was coming out of college. They can be heroes one week, and fantasy goats the next. The bottom line is at the end of the season, most kickers stats are going to be grouped together.
The Raiders have managed to keep Sebastian Janikowski on their team. In all honesty though, Janikowski hasn?t earned one bit of the worthiness of being a first round pick. More than likely he won?t finish as a Raider, and that pick will go down as one of the worst picks in NFL history. A kicker is a safety insurance outlet when you can?t score a touchdown. No NFL team wants their kicker on the field unless they are kicking an extra point. If teams would spend more time scouting kickers they?ll be able to find gems in arena football leagues and colleges.
It just boggles my mind when a fantasy owner over emphasizes the importance of a kicker. It?s a position that is the most unpredictable of any fantasy roster spot. Your quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers are guaranteed to be on the field. A kicker could go an entire game without kicking a field goal, and no fantasy owner is happy with fantasy extra points.
Even if you end up with a proven veteran kicker, there is no telling that he won?t fall into a cold streak. Kickers are streaky just like a baseball pitcher. They can kick twenty field goals in a row, and then miss two or three important kicks. Right now Martin Gramatica is the case of study. He missed three field goals Sunday, and has struggled the majority of the year. We all know he is a solid kicker that is just having a down year.
Next summer, look around the NFL training camps to figure out which teams are having training camp battles. More and more teams are doing it, and usually you can find a gem on picking the winner of the battle. Especially some of the youngsters that come in with a low salary base and a strong mind in beating out a veteran.